Time off for Christmas?

Christmas is just around the corner, and for many of us, this means Christmas leave. Your workplace may even be closed over Christmas. Read here to find out what you can expect regarding Christmas leave.

If you are a salaried employee, you are entitled to time off with pay on Danish public holidays. Around Christmas and New Year, the public holidays are 25th and 26th of December. In Denmark we call them 1st and 2nd Christmas Day.  New Year’s Day, on 1st of January, is also a public holiday. And you get all three days off with pay.

24th December (Christmas Eve) and 31st December (New Year’s Eve) are not public holidays. You have to use your days of holiday, if your workplace is open and you wish to take the day off.       

Many businesses however are closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, even though they are not public holidays. Some workplaces may also be closed on the days between Christmas and New Year. Below, you can see what applies if your workplace is closed on days that are not public holidays.

Closed on non-public holidays

If your workplace is closed on 24th December (Christmas Eve) or 31st December (New Year's Eve) or on the days between Christmas and New Year which are not public holidays, special rules apply to how you must use your days of holiday.

The rules differentiate between whether you have earned more or fewer than 15 days of holiday with your current employer.

The number of days of holiday you have earned depends on how long you have been employed. You earn 2.08 days of holiday per month of employment in a calendar year, which you may use in the following holiday year.

You must therefore have been employed for more than seven months in the 2017 calendar year to have earned more than 15 days of holiday, which you may use in the 2018 holiday year. The holiday year does not follow the calendar year. It runs from 1st of May 2018 to 30th of April 2019.

Earned more than 15 holiday days

If you have earned more than 15 days of holiday, your employer must ask you to reserve some of your holiday days so that you can use them for Christmas leave when the company is closed.

If your employer has not asked you to reserve some of your days of holiday, and you have used them all up, then you are entitled to get Christmas leave with pay when your workplace is closed over Christmas. This means that you receive pay on the days that are not public holidays, even though you do not have any days of holiday left.

If you still have days of holiday left, you must use them, as long as you have been given proper notice of the Christmas closure. The notice rules are much too lengthy to list here, so please call us for more information if you are at all uncertain about how you stand.

Earned fewer than 15 holiday days

If you have earned fewer than 15 paid days of holiday, then your employer is not obliged to reserve your holiday days. This means that if proper notice about the Christmas closure has been given, then you must either use your earned days of holiday or take Christmas leave without pay.

If you are forced in any way to take time off without pay – and you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse) – you may qualify for holiday benefit or unemployment benefit for the days in question. Contact your unemployment insurance fund for more information.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year.